5 of the best debut seasons in Premier League history
It's hard to make an impact in your first Premier League season but these five debutants delivered in a huge way.
Trawl around the internet at the minute and you’ll find tons of articles about the best debut seasons in Premier League history, and most of them will contain Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, who was awarded the Golden Boot at the weekend after ending the season with 32 league goals.
The only problem? 2017/18 wasn’t technically Salah’s Premier League debut season, as he played two seasons with Chelsea a few years ago, albeit with very little impact after only making a handful of appearances.
The following five players, on the other hand, made a massive impact in their actual debut season, winning trophies, individual awards and the acclaim of practically everyone within the game. Here are 5 of the best debut seasons in Premier League history.
#1: Jurgen Klinsmann
When German striker Jurgen Klinsmann – who helped his country to a World Cup victory in 1990 – signed for Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 1994, it came as a surprise, largely because at the time, Spurs were seen as a somewhat struggling side – the 1993/94 season had seen them finish 15th, just 3 points above the relegation zone.
Klinsmann’s reputation also wasn’t exactly stellar with the British press, who had dubbed him a “diver” due to some of his more theatrical performances in drawing free-kicks and penalties for both club and country. It seemed like a move destined for failure, but instead, Klinsmann was the biggest revelation of the 1994/95 season.
He scored a header on his debut against Sheffield Wednesday and celebrated by diving to the ground – mocking his own reputation in a self-deprecating way. The move instantly turned him into a favourite both with the Tottenham fans and the press, and from there he went on to score 21 goals in the Premier League and 30 in all competitions.
While Spurs only finished 7th in the league, Klinsmann’s goals helped them to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the German striker was awarded the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year award.
A move to Bayern Munich in the summer of 1995 soured him in the eyes of many Spurs fans, but a move back to the team in 1997/98 saw him save the side from relegation by scoring 9 goals, making him a hero all over again.
His debut season in the Premier League remains one of the best in the competition’s history, largely because of the way he turned around his reputation as well as his goalscoring exploits.